What Is Heart Valve Repair?

During a heart valve repair operation, your heart valve may need to be resized (an annuloplasty procedure). It's also possible that your heart valve leaflets may need to be repaired because of calcium deposits or extra tissue on the leaflets that needs to be removed (a valvuloplasty). During heart valve repair, one or all of the following procedures may be done:

  • The heart valve is resized by removing excess tissue
  • Support is added to the heart valve by adding tissue or a band or ring around the opening of the valve
  • Damaged leaflet tissue is repaired
  • Calcium deposits are removed
  • The cords that control the leaflets of your valve are repaired
Valves are essential to your heart's pumping action. The four valves allow blood to move between your heart's four chambers.

Detail - Valves are essential to your heart's pumping action. The four valves allow blood to move between your heart's four chambers.

If you and your doctor agree that heart valve repair is the best option for you, a surgeon may perform an operation called an annuloplasty procedure.

Through disease or age, the tissue that supports the heart valve's opening (the annulus) can weaken and lose its shape. To repair this condition, a device called an annuloplasty ring or band is sewn around the base of the heart valve to reshape it and give it support.

An annuloplasty band or ring is made of durable plastic, metal, or fabric and may be flexible or rigid. These rings and bands are designed to hold the natural shape, motion, and flexibility of the annulus.

An annuloplasty ring or band may also have a marker that makes it possible to see it on an x-ray.

A flexible annuloplasty ring or band is used to help restore the shape of your heart valve

A flexible annuloplasty ring or band is used to help restore the shape of your heart valve.

Many patients feel physically better following heart valve repair surgery because they are no longer impacted by the symptoms of their valve disease.

Information on this site should not be used as a substitute for talking with your doctor. Always talk with your doctor about diagnosis and treatment information.

Last updated: 22 Sep 2010

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